By Kazeem Adekunle
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Those criticising the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for posting the former Ekiti State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Mrs. Ayoka Adebayo to Ondo State have been described as “political hypocrites and blackmailers, who are being used by the Action Congress (AC) to discredit the REC, having failed to influence her into doing their bidding during the last year rerun governorship election in Ekiti State.”

Elections Transparency Group (ETG) which made this assertion in a statement signed by its National Coordinator, Alhaji Kazeem Adekunle and made available to newsmen said “INEC is not an appendage of the opposition parties and their collaborators in some of the civil society groups and as such cannot be blackmailed into doing their biddings.”

The group said it was compelled to react to the campaign of calumny being sponsored against INEC and the REC because those behind it were the same people, who masterminded the resignation saga and went on to use their media organisations to propagate it.

It described the involvement of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) in the campaign as annoying, adding that; “it is obvious that those in the labour union have lost focus.”

“While we are not out to defend Mrs. Ayoka Adebayo and the INEC Chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega, who did the posting, it has become very imperative for those trying to justify their electoral failure in Ekiti State with Ayoka's purported resignation to be told in clear terms that they do not own Nigeria and INEC.

“They should be mindful of the fact that the government of Nigeria and INEC in particular are not being run by morons and devil agents, who would have allowed Ayoka Adebayo to remain in office if indeed, she did not performed her duties as Ekiti State REC as provided by the laws.

“Most importantly, it must have been known to those in authority that it was the AC people themselves that orchestrated the resignation saga when it became apparent to them that Ayoka Adebayo was not going to do their biddings.

“Like the forgery of police report and MTN call logs in Osun, those behind the resignation story are still alive. They were the ones who made sure that Ayoka's recant on the story was not published. And we challenge the AC governorship candidate in Ekiti State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi to swear that all his children should die if indeed, himself and other AC spin doctors were the masterminds of the Ayoka Adebayo's resignation saga and that they should prosper in whatever they do if they knew nothing about it,” the group said.

While urging the INEC chairman and the REC to remain focussed and ignore the AC and its paid agents, the ETG said; “They know as a fact that by law, RECs do not have powers to cancel an already conducted election.

“Even when they accused Ayoka Adebayo of announcing fake results at the Ekiti rerun election, they failed to produce the original, which she refused to announce. They also failed to produce copies of the REC's resignation letter at the tribunal and refused to bring one Olu Solomoni, Ayoka's supposed Personal Assistant to the tribunal even when they had the option of subpoena.

“It has therefore become necessary that we urge INEC to continue to ignore them and face the uphill task of conducting a credible election in 2011.”